Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Alexandra E. Roach

Second Advisor

Bridget Cho

Third Advisor

Maureen Carrigan


Objectives: The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between child maltreatment and adult emotion regulation by examining parenting processes of emotion socialization and attachment security as possible mechanisms accounting for this relationship. It was hypothesized that maltreated adults would retrospectively report more unsupportive responses from parents/caregivers, greater attachment insecurity, more difficulty with emotion regulation, and using expressive suppression more than cognitive reappraisal. It was also hypothesized that unsupportive responses to emotions and attachment security would both indirectly effect the relationship between child maltreatment and adult emotion dysregulation.

Method: A sample of 226 participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk participated in this study. The measures were presented in a survey that participants filled out via a link posted on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Results: Results of a one-way MANOVA revealed significant differences between maltreated and non-maltreated individuals in attachment security (p<.001), unsupportive responses to negative emotions (p<.001), and emotion dysregulation (p<.001) but not in emotion regulation strategies. Results of a simple mediation analysis revealed a significant indirect effect of child maltreatment on emotion dysregulation through unsupportive responses to negative emotion by parents.

Conclusions: Results reveal differences in maltreated individuals’ experiences with their parents in childhood from non-maltreated experiences with their parents.